What's Next for Former Brooklyn Nets Coach Avery Johnson?

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterDecember 29, 2012

Nov 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson reacts during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Nets 95-90. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So what's next for Avery Johnson?

I'm thinking voice-over work for a hit cartoon sitcom. I'd watch an animated squirrel speaking in Avery Johnson's tongue.

But after Hollywood, Johnson has the same few options as every other coach who gets canned.


Option One: Take a studio job, wait for a head coaching job to open

Johnson was great in the studio. Whether you agree or disagree with his analysis, his passion for the game made him entertaining and enjoyable.

He's kind of like the Herman Edwards of basketball—energetic, enthusiastic, funny without trying to be. A studio job can allow Johnson to shake off the breakup, clear his head, keep his face visible and pick up a paycheck.

You don't see head coaches who get fired find new jobs right away. Unlike how it is for players, there's only one spot on the roster for a head coach, and all of them stay filled.


Option Two: Take an assistant coaching job, wait for a head coaching job to open

Why not go the Lawrence Frank route? When Frank got relieved of his head coaching duties of the New Jersey Nets, he found a job as Doc Rivers' lead assistant in Boston—not a bad gig.

He played that role until other positions around the league opened up. Frank ultimately took the Detroit Pistons job—not the most attractive position but it was available and his for the taking.

Johnson should either look to cling to a playoff team (he did play in San Antonio with Vinny Del Negro for four years, just saying), or find a roster that has young point guards for him to develop. That way he can take credit for a player's improvement and actually have something to show for his work as an assistant. 


What's Out There?

Well, let's see—you can bet that the Sacramento coaching job should be opening up pretty soon. Keith Smart has done a lousy job with this group, and he isn't getting the best out of the talent that's on the roster.

The Kings have a number of scoring point guards who could use the guidance of someone who's won a championship handling the ball.

What about the Washington Wizards? Things aren't going so hot for Randy Wittman in Washington. He recently criticized his team, which is now 4-23 and at the bottom of the barrel. 

Milwaukee is a potential option with Scott Skiles in the final year of his contract. If the Bucks can't get over the hump this season, do they bring him back?

The fact of the matter is, everything is speculation at this point. Positions are going to open up, it's just tough to tell which ones.

Johnson is well regarded in the basketball community, and this isn't the last we'll hear of him. He'll likely be considered a candidate for whatever job ends up opening. For Johnson, it's a matter of wanting to be patient and waiting for the ideal opportunity, or taking the first job that's available.

I have a feeling Johnson isn't going to wait very long. He seemed awfully disappointed to hear the news he'd been fired, and it would make sense that he's anxious to get back out there and prove his worth.

A job that may not seem very attractive now might be a lot better looking after the draft, either this year or the next.